Advent: The Crib

Advent traditions vary but the reasons remain the same: to prepare our hearts for welcoming God's gift of light and love, his son Jesus. Looking beyond Carrot Top Studio'spastor and deacon stoles here is one idea to help connect a visual symbol to the message of the season....

At one time the making of the Christmas crib was as important a part of every household activity as that of the church where we still see the annual preparations.Tradition tells us that it was St. Francis of Assisi who created the first crib, in honor not only of the infant savior but also of the animals who had come to worship in the stable. This crib was reportedly made with the wooden materials St. Francis had on hand...reminding us that Christ was born in a place that was "on hand"....he didn't come to the palatial palace that this king was anticipated arriving in. Why not create your own nativity scene without store bought, mass produced elements, using just whatever you have on hand? And think about giving special place to the animals, perhaps including more than the traditional ox and ass. 

Seeing this photo by one of our favorite college chemistry students reminded us that using what you have on hand can work!